Poll reveals concerns about taxpayer funding of faith schools

A pupil at St George's C of E Primary School in Stockport, writes about the Muslim faith during a religious education lesson in this photo dated Wednesday July 6, 2011.(PA)

A new poll has revealed that more than half of voters have concerns about faith schools.

The poll by Opinium found that 58 per cent had some kind of objection, with over a third (35 per cent) saying they should not receive state funding.

More than half (56 per cent) said faith schools should stick to the national curriculum, with only 11 per cent agreeing they should have some discretion beyond the core subjects.

Nearly a quarter of people (23 per cent) said there should be no faith schools at all.

Opinion was split over who should be responsible for tackling extremism in schools, with a third saying the Home Office and police, just slightly more than the 31 per cent who felt it should be dealt with by teachers and governors.

The poll examined the views of over a thousand UK adults from 12 to 13 June and took place in the wake of allegations about a "Trojan Horse" plot by Islamic fundamentalists to take over schools in Birmingham.

Just under three quarters (74 per cent) said there was a serious risk of some faith schools encouraging extremist views among pupils, while over half (55 per cent) believed some predominantly Muslim schools were fostering extremist views among pupils.

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